We still need librarians in public schools.
Published in the Chicago Tribune, Sept. 8, 2017
Congratulations to the Tribune for informing the public about the lack of school librarians in Chicago.
Not mentioned in the Sept. 5 article “Most of city's schools now lack librarians,” however, is the research showing that the presence of a credentialed school librarian is a significant predictor of reading achievement.
A recent study done by Scholastic tells us at least part of the reason why: School librarians connect young readers with books that are right for them.
This is crucial. Research also tells us that students who develop a reading habit read better, write better, spell better, have better control of grammar, and have larger vocabularies. Readers also know more about a wide variety of subjects. It is therefore no surprise that they do better on standardized tests of literacy.
We cheerfully spend billions on unvalidated tests and untested technology, yet we ignore the impressive research on libraries and librarians, and are unwilling to make the modest investments that will ensure that school libraries are well supplied with books and are staffed with credentialed librarians.
— Stephen Krashen, Los Angeles, professor emeritus, University of Southern California